Sugar VS Green Stuff: Beauty Foods 101

If you’ve ever wanted to help a client understand the relationship between skin issues and diet, or wondered whether you should advise your skincare clients to avoid sugar, you’ll want to read on. 

What’s the deal with alkaline eating? What foods should a client with skin issues avoid? Is sugar really as bad as it’s cracked up to be? Professional Beauty sat down to get the real deal on beauty foods with food scientist and founder of Luk Beautifood, Cindy Luken.

Why do you refer to certain foods  as ‘beauty foods’?

“Foods contain specific nutrients that work at a cellular level in and on our body. Say for example you have dry rough skin and your fine lines are more visible than you desire. To help fix this skin problem, you can eat more plant foods containing beta-carotene.  In your body it’s converted to vitamin A, which promotes cell turnover in the skin and stimulates collagen production.”

What are your top five recommended beauty foods for great skin?      

“Walnuts are fabulous for omega 3 essential fatty acids to strengthen skin cells and lock in moisture. Avocadoes are rich in healthy fats and skin-loving vitamin E. Kale is an excellent source of calcium, vitamins A, C and K – all essential for skin health, and blueberries are rich in antioxidants that attack wrinkle-causing free radicals, while papaya keeps your digestive system in tip-top shape so toxins can be eliminated and nutrients absorbed.”

Can you explain the difference between eating alkaline and acidic foods?

“The standard Australian diet is primarily composed of acidic or acidifying foods such as meat, cheese, grains and cereals, sugars and stimulants like tobacco, coffee, tea and alcohol. Alkaline foods such as vegetables, are eaten in much smaller quantities and their alkaline content is insufficient to neutralize surplus acids, which leads to an acidic pH in the body. If the organs are compromised as a result of an acidic diet, then it can lead to eczema, dermatitis, rashes and breakouts.”

What foods are the worst offenders to our skin, and why? Is sugar really the devil?

“Processed foods can cause allergies, skin sensitivities, eczema, psoriasis, dryness, inflammation, and act as hormone disruptors. Sugar – where do I start? Fine lines and wrinkles when an excess intake of sugar and simple carbohydrates like white bread and baked goods are consumed causes advanced glycation end products (AGEs) to be produced. AGEs destroy antioxidants which protect us against free radicals and help to fight inflammation. Excess sugar also signals your hormones to make your skin glands work in overdrive, creating blocked pores and oily skin.”

What motivated you to start looking into the relationship between skin and diet?

“I so believe in ‘what you eat today walks and talks tomorrow’, that I had to explore the whole body effect with what we put on our skin too, as it has been researched that 60 per cent of what goes on goes in. Another reason I want to share my understanding of the relationship between skin and diet is how my skin looks after 47 years of eating well! I’m really happy with it and rarely wear foundation or a cover of any sort!”

Cindy Luken will speak at VITALITY, on Friday October 10 at 2:50pm. For more information on the VITALITY show, head to


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